TOKYO (TR) – A popular male comedian in custody for the theft of school girl uniforms has been re-arrested for the same crime in a separate case, Tokyo Metropolitan Police announced on Thursday, reports NHK (Jan. 21).
On December 30 of 2014, Kenichi Takahashi, 44, a former member of the duo King of Comedy, is alleged to have illegally entered a high school in Koto Ward and stolen 45 items of clothing, including blazers.
Takahashi, who has been charged with theft and trespassing, admits to the allegations. “With stress in my private life, the uniforms provided peace of mind,” the suspect is quoted by police.
Takahashi was identified as a suspect following the examination of security camera footage in which a man carrying a backpack and using a lightweight truck was observed at the school. Police later confirmed Takahashi to be the owner of the truck.
Police believe that Takahashi is behind similar crimes that have taken place at between 50 and 60 schools in Tokyo and Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures over the past two years, according to the Asahi Shimbun (Jan. 20).
A search of his residence in Ota Ward has revealed more than 1,000 items of female clothing from dozens schools packed into garbage bags.
In December, police first arrested Takahashi for the theft of 24 items of clothing from a high school in Setagaya Ward.
In 2010, King of Comedy was named the top comedy team at the “King of Conte” awards show. Following Takahashi’s arrest in the Setagaya case, his agency, Production Jinrikisha, cancelled his employment contract, which resulted in the break up of King of Comedy.